Single layer centrifugation (SLC) for bacterial removal with Porcicoll positively modifies chromatin structure in boar spermatozoa

Theriogenology. 2023 Apr 15:201:95-105. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2023.02.017. Epub 2023 Feb 20.


The storage of boar semen samples at 17 °C for artificial insemination (AI) doses enables the proliferation of the bacteria, making antibiotics necessary. This can contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This study tested bacterial presence and sperm chromatin structure after using a low-density colloid (Porcicoll) as an antibiotic alternative to eliminate bacteria. Ejaculates (8 boars, 3 ejaculates each) were split as control and low-density colloid centrifugation (single layer centrifugation, SLC, 20%, and 30% Porcicoll) into 500 ml tubes. Analyses were carried out at days 0, 3, and 7 (17 °C) for microbial presence and sperm chromatin structure analysis: %DFI (DNA fragmentation) and %HDS (chromatin immaturity), monobromobimane (mBBr; free thiols and disulfide bridges), and chromomycin A3 (CMA3; chromatin compaction). Besides comparing bacterial presence (7 species identified) and chromatin variables between treatments, the associations between these sets of variables were described by canonical correlation analysis (CCA). Results showed a significant decrease of some bacteria or a complete removal after SLC (especially for P30). SLC also caused a decrease of %HDS and an increase of disulfide bridges and low and medium mBBr populations, suggesting the removal of immature sperm (poor chromatin compaction). CCA showed an association pattern compatible with the degradation of sperm chromatin parameters with bacterial contamination, especially Enterobacteria, P. aeuriginosa, and K. variicola. In conclusion, bacterial contamination affects sperm chromatin beyond DNA fragmentation; SLC with low-density colloid not only removes bacteria from boar semen, but also chromatin structure is enhanced after selection.

Keywords: Boar; Canonical correlation analysis; Chromatin; DNA fragmentation; Single layer centrifugation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria
  • Biofilms
  • Centrifugation / veterinary
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Colloids
  • Male
  • Semen Analysis / veterinary
  • Semen Preservation* / methods
  • Semen Preservation* / veterinary
  • Semen*
  • Sperm Motility
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism
  • Swine


  • Chromatin
  • Colloids
  • monobromobimane